Zodiac Signs Ranked By How Well They Operate Under Stress

Stress is something everyone deals with from time to time, but some people let it flow off their backs like water off a duck stepping from a pond, while others seem to wallow in the misery it brings them. CEO of Mindful Living Kathleen Hall described stress to Time as "... a physical, mental, or emotional response to change." Life coach Elain Sanders added that "Stress is a direct result of negative emotions that are out of control. It doesn't matter what triggers those emotions — whether it be pressure from a superior, a difficult colleague, or time pressure." You can swap out "superior" for "partner" and "kids or pets" for "colleagues," because stress can happen at home too.


Your zodiac sign could say something about how you respond to and handle stress. We're not only going to look at the general aspects of each sign, but also how your ruling planets, elements, and modalities can sometimes affect how you deal with stress. While not every person of the same zodiac sign is alike, there's a good chance you'll relate to some of what we say. And if not? Check your moon sign to see how your emotions relate in stressful situations.

Stress-free Sagittarius

We're giving Sagittarius the top spot as the zodiac sign best able to operate under stress because this fun-loving sign finds it hard to let anything get to them. One of the reasons that Sagittarius isn't easily stressed is because of their ruling planet, Jupiter. Jupiter greatly focuses on positivity and expansion. It's that positive adaptability that allows the stress to slide right off of Sagittarius' shoulders and be forgotten as they move on to bigger and better things that deserve their attention. 


As a fire sign, Sagittarius folks can sometimes get a little hot-headed, but that adventurous side of Sag sees a challenge as something to enjoy rather than an annoyance that gets under their skin where it would fester. They're also a mutable sign, so they adapt well to change and find it easy to go with the flow when things may not be going exactly as they plan. They're so adaptable that when stress rears its ugly head, Sagittarius is more likely to take the day off and head to the spa, or stay in bed and read than let the pressure get to them at all. They find it easy to step away from situations that would add more stress to their lives.

Balanced Libra

Libra finds it easy to stay balanced, and perhaps it has something to do with the scales that makes them so adept at dealing with stress. As an air sign, they can easily put their heads in the clouds and ignore any nonsense going on around them. They are also a cardinal sign, which means that they have no issues with change — and that is probably the biggest reason they are so high up on this list. When change has little effect on you, stress is less likely to have a big impact on your life. 


Ruled by Venus, Libra are loving folks, and this may make them more understanding when people do things that would cause extreme stress in other people's lives — they're just more tolerant and forgiving. Of course, if you find that you're not as adept as the typical Libra to let that stress go quickly, you may want to take a look at your moon sign, as that is where you'll learn the most about how things affect you emotionally. When stress does creep into your life, as a Libra, self-care that contains flowy movement is the best way to go, whether you're practicing yoga, Tai Chi, or doing mudras with your hands.

Aquarius stays in control

Aquarius is another air sign, and they use this connection with the element to simply breathe through the stress that heads their way. Rather than letting their emotions control them, Aquarians exert great emotional intelligence and show that they're the ones who determine what gets to them and what simply doesn't deserve all of that attention. Aquarius is a fixed sign, which, in their case, brings lots of stability to their lives. While fixed signs can sometimes be seen as stubborn, we like to look at them as being able to stay the course even when something like stress tries to get in the way.


Ruled by both Saturn and Uranus, Aquarius is determined and innovative. The determination from Saturn helps this sign push right through stressful situations, while innovative Uranus allows them to think of new ways to do things whenever something seems to be standing in their way. Aquarius has an uncanny knack for being able to see the bigger picture. Even when they overanalyze a stressful situation — which can sometimes happen to this go-getter sign — they can quickly find out how to do things in a way that takes stress right out of the equation.

Too-busy-to-be-stressed Capricorn

Capricorn likes to stay busy, so a stressful day is just another day for them — they don't let it get under their skin. Sure, they experience stress, but to them, it's just a day at the office, as these workaholics know how to pick their battles. Stress is just an obstacle they can move past on their way to the next project. As a cardinal sign, we know that Caps are leaders, and leaders are those people we look up to because they can handle all the tough stuff the rest of us struggle with — including stress. This earth sign is grounded and ready to push through the trials and tribulations that life throws at them.


Ruled by Saturn, Capricorn is another zodiac sign that is determined to make things happen for themselves. Of course, some people look at ambitious Capricorn and think they must have a bunch of pent-up stress hidden away that they're not dealing with. The truth is, they honestly know how to let that muck slip right on by and instead focus on the bigger picture. A Capricorn who momentarily lets stress take control can likely blame their moon sign for any emotional turmoil affecting them.

Scorpio is ready to move on

Scorpios are a water sign with some fire sign tendencies — in fact, people often mistake Scorps as fire signs because they're a bit dark, mysterious, and sometimes hot-headed. When it comes to stress, Scorps will not stay clear of it, but they tend to let all the stress out. It might not necessarily be in healthy ways, though, but then they move on and forget what was even making them feel stressed out. They may break things, shred things they regret destroying later, and even find relief in a yelling and swearing session — but once they've let off all that steam, they are off to new things, and you wouldn't even know they'd been on the brink of breaking a moment ago.


Fixed Scorpio may be able to keep moving forward through stress like Aquarius, but their planets sometimes get in the way. Fiery Mars (this sign's ruling planet until Pluto was discovered in 1930) makes Scorpio more on edge, as does destructive Pluto. Pluto is all about rebirth, after completely destroying something else. This makes perfect sense in the way that Scorpio handles stress in their lives. But, with action-oriented Mars on their side, even big Pluto-caused changes won't hold Scorp down for too long.

Leo just needs a push

Fiery Leos use the power of their fixed nature to stay more balanced and not go off the deep end as much when it comes to stress, but sometimes they need a little assistance to let things go. When Leo is feeling overwhelmingly stressed, they can sometimes get sucked into it and need someone outside the event to push them forward and motivate them again. With the sun as their ruling planet, Leos tend to be very motivated and creative, but their pride can sometimes get in the way. 


With pride from their sign, their planet, and element of fire, it's easy for Leo to feel all consumed when too much stress makes its way into their lives. Being fixed makes change hard, so when a Leo finds themselves faced with major upheavals, stress can get out of control. If you have a Leo in your life, know the signs and jump in with some support when they seem ready to blow. If someone doesn't enter the picture and give the big cat a push, they may wallow in misery until they're finally able to look at things again with fresh eyes.

Taurus is just waiting to explode

Earthy Taurus does everything they can to stay grounded and level, and as a fixed sign, they usually do well with this. However, like Leo, Taurus isn't a big fan of change, and too many changes can make Taurus' stress level rise to dangerous heights. For the most part, Taurus will hold that pressure in as long as they can, but watch out when too much builds up, because they're going to explode, and it isn't going to be pretty at all. 


Like Libra, Taurus is ruled by the loving planet Venus, but, this bull-headed sign can sometimes end up taking their stress out on the people closest to them. Basically, if you're the one that contributed any bit of stress to what's been building up inside, you may find yourself at the receiving end of the explosion. If you're witness to this meltdown, walk away — slowly — and come back when you no longer hear the sound of verbal fire coming from the Taurus in your life. They need some time to get their emotions under control again, and all your presence will do is keep their anger alive.

Cancer gets lost in it

Cancer is considered the most emotional of the water signs, and of the zodiac signs in general. Their way of dealing with stress, of course, is to cry about it. This can be a good thing — crying helps us let go of the yuck inside and clear the way for more positive thoughts to replace that negativity. However, if Cancer gets lost in a crying fit and doesn't take the time to deal with the stress that brought them here, the crying can be a bad thing. Sometimes this sign is more likely to avoid the things that stress them out. Blame the moon for those rocky emotions, as that is Cancer's ruling planet. 


While cancer does have a habit of getting lost in all of their emotions — including stress — once they've shed their tears and found the hope to move on, they will push through and make things happen. That is because they are a cardinal sign — one of the leaders when it comes to the zodiac. They want to help others, so if Cancer has a reason to let go of their stress to make things better for someone else, they can get over it sooner.

Super-sensitive Pisces

While Cancer is known as the most emotional water sign, Pisces is super emotional as well. They have all of their own feelings plus everyone else's, because not only do Pisces tend to be empaths, they are also a culmination of all twelve signs in one as the final sign in the zodiac. They have a lot to deal with daily, even without added stressors tossed in. As a mutable watery sign, they do find it easier to flow through the changes and make it back to the other side without stress messing with them even more. Oh, and that empathy? Well, Pisces, if you're feeling stressed, make sure it's your own issues and not someone else's!


Positivity-focused Jupiter also helps Pisces not spend too much time wallowing in misery. Though they additionally have Neptune as a guiding planet, Pisces may find their emotions magnified, and they could find themselves lost in fantasy worlds when they simply don't want to deal with the stress that does creep into their lives. They're the ones who will play out every scenario in their heads, good and bad, and may add more stress just by spending too much time thinking.

Overthinking Gemini

Geminis get a bad rap sometimes when it comes to their outgoing personalities, love of gossip, and enjoyment of the party lifestyle. Gemini is the twins, and when you've got two personalities, they can easily stress one another out. As an air sign, Gemini is a great communicator, but sometimes what they say doesn't make sense to the people around them, and their need to be heard can lead to stress. Their obsession with overthinking can also compound the problem. Luckily, they have rationality from Mercury on their side, so at some point Gemini will work through all those stressful thoughts in their heads and find an answer — maybe it'll be the right one, or perhaps it'll be the wrong one, and more stress will ensue.


Though Gemini is a mutable sign, if they're not in control of the changes taking place, that can mess with them, as they want to be in charge of their own lives. And, when this bubbly sign finds themselves stuck in a stressful rut, you can help them find peace of mind by reminding them of some of the things that bring them joy.

Aries wears a mask

Aries gives off an air of always being in control, when in fact they might be cracking under pressure deep inside. As a cardinal sign, this leader wants to be sure that their followers never see them fail. So, what Aries does to hide the stress in their lives (and trust us, they have more than you'd think) is wear a mask to hide behind. Even the most fiery energy they could have in their souls can be hidden from those around them, and they'll stifle the anger until they have time alone when no one can hear them breaking things and yelling. 


Ruled by Mars, Aries harbor a lot of energy within themselves, which often comes out in the form of anger when they haven't been doing what they can to deal with their stress. What Aries needs to do is toss that mask in the trash and learn how to better cope with stress, whether it's by letting loose at a party or enjoying your leadership role. That mask is just keeping the stress inside you, building up pressure until it combusts and takes you and the people around you out in a fiery blaze.

Virgo the perfectionist

It is Virgo's need for absolute perfection that really gets them in trouble when dealing with stress. Mercury brings the intelligence you need to beat stress, but that earth-bound obsession with needing everything to be just right — from the size of your paycheck to the size of your pores — can sometimes outweigh everything your ruling planet gives to you. Even though you're a mutable sign, at times your normally confident and relaxed demeanor can be lost in the need to make everything just the way you want it.


Focus on the details one at a time, Virgo. You'll find it easier to tackle the things that stand in your way of creating the balance between chaos and perfection that you seek. You're the sign that needs to be reminded that perfection is a myth. Just get things to a point where you feel like you can relax, and you won't need to strive for the unattainable anymore — which means less stress!